Introducing a TEPSA Member Institute: the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Ireland


The Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) was founded in 1991 and is Ireland’s leading think tank on European and international affairs. Its extensive research programme aims to provide IIEA members with high-level analysis and forecasts of the challenges on the global and EU policy agendas. It acts as a catalyst for new thinking, new solutions and policy options.

The IIEA provides a forum for dialogue between its members on EU and international developments and their implications for Ireland and Europe. The aim of the IIEA is to evaluate and foster debate on strategic policy options, to exchange views across sectoral, occupational and professional boundaries, and so to add a new dimension to the development of national policy.

The IIEA directs its information and analysis towards policymakers in government, business, industry, the civil service, the diplomatic corps, the legal professions, social and voluntary organisations, trade unions, the media and academia.

The research work of the IIEA is organised in thematic working groups. Flagship groups include: the Future of Europe; Economics and Finance; Digital Future; Justice and Home Affairs; Energy and Environment; Foreign, Security and Defence Policy; Wider Europe; and country specific groups on China, France, Germany, the UK and the US. The groups meet frequently and generate a wide range of publications including reports, books, occasional papers, newsletters, briefing notes, and pamphlets, all of which are made available online.

The IIEA holds more than 100 events per year at which thought leaders outline their vision of key issues that affect European citizens. This extensive programme of events includes keynote addresses, conferences, seminars, confidential briefings, and roundtable discussions. Recent speakers at the IIEA include Ban-Ki Moon, UN Secretary General; Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President; Steven Chu, US Secretary of Energy, and Sharon Bowles, Chair of the European Parliament’s ECON Committee.

In addition to its high-calibre events schedule, the IIEA has an innovative website ( combining video and audio recordings of events with blogs, publications, infographics, animations, and short video interviews. It has users across all EU member states.

In addition to the work programme undertaken in Ireland, the IIEA has an active branch in Brussels which acts as a network for Irish professionals and policy-makers in the EU and which develops its own initiatives.

As Ireland prepares to assume to Presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 January 2013, the IIEA recently hosted a Pre-Presidency Conference in Dublin Castle, in conjunction with TEPSA, on 23 November 2012. Attended by over 400 delegates, and including four Senior Government Ministers amongst speakers, the conference focussed on Ireland’s Presidency Priorities, The Future of the Union, The Digital/Energy Interface, Economic Governance and EMU and EU Foreign Policy.

For information on the Conference, together with recordings of presentations, click here

For more information on the IIEA’s activities, please visit the IIEA’s website

Spring 2013 Publications by IIEA, Dublin

IIEA LogoMichael G Tutty, Reforming European Economic Governance, The Institute of International and European Affairs, 15 May 2013. More information available here.

John O’Hagan, Shared Economic Sovereignty: Beneficial or Not and Who Decides?, The Institute of International and European Affairs, 30 May 2013. More information available here.

Conference “Ten Years After Thessaloniki (…)”, IIEA, Dublin

IIEA Logo_largeConference on ‘Ten Years After Thessaloniki: An appraisal of the EU perspective and challenges in the Western Balkans’, the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Dublin

On 24 May, the IIEA and the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted a high-level conference to mark the tenth anniversary of the EU-Western Balkans summit in Thessaloniki. At this summit in 2003 a firm commitment was made to the countries of the region that ‘the future of the Balkans is within the European Union’. The Thessaloniki Agenda continues to shape the EU’s relations with the region, although the euro crisis and the consequent focus on institutional change within the Union pose significant challenges for the future of enlargement to the Western Balkans. This conference reflected on the progress made over the last ten years, the difficulties encountered and the outlook for the completion of the project.

The conference was hosted by Ireland’s Minister for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, TD, and opened by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD. Other speakers included Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Füle; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Croatia, Vesna Pusic; and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, Dr. Miroslav Lajcák.

Videos, speech transcripts and podcasts of the conference are now available on the IIEA website.

IIEA’s seminar on “Protecting Personal Data in the Digital Age”, 17 May 2013, Dublin

IIEA Logo_largeOn 17 May 2013, the  Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) hosted a high-level seminar on data protection. Individuals and businesses supply huge quantities of information on a daily basis, from telephone numbers to employment histories to bank account details. The spread of social networks and online ordering, as well as more widespread use of mobile devices, poses new challenges for the protection of personal data and the fight against cyber-crime. Marne Levine, Facebook’s Global Vice-President for Public Policy, and Billy Hawkes, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, discussed these vital issues in the context of upcoming EU legislative reforms on data protection.

This event was organised with the support of McCann FitzGerald, and took place at their Dublin headquarters.

Consult all IIEA’s events:

Policy brief “Shifting the Climate Finance Paradigm: Nine Key Challenges for Developed Countries” by Joseph Curtin, IIEA, Dublin

Joseph Curtin, Shifting the Climate Finance Paradigm: Nine Key Challenges for Developed Countries, IIEA, 13 March 2013. See more information here.

In 2009, developed countries commited to part-funding the cost of adapting to the impacts of climate change and of low carbon development in developing countries. From 2010 to 2012, fast start finance began to flow from developed country exhequers. However, the climate finance paradigm is now shifting. A transition from loans and grants provided from scarce exchequer resources to innovative instruments for leveraging private capital and mitigating investment risk is required in the coming period. But what are the implications for developed countries? This policy brief explores the policy context defining the current climate finance debate; examines the extent to which commitments have been met; and identifies nine key challenges for developed countries as they enter the new climate finance paradigm, drawing on the lessons of the fast start finance period.

This is the second in a series of Environment Nexus policy briefs by leading experts in the fields of agriculture, energy, climate change and water. They form part of the Environment Nexus project, which is co-financed by the European Parliament.

IIEA’s paper “Untying the Knot? Ireland, the UK and the EU”, February 2013

Dáithí O’Ceallaigh and James Kilcourse, Untying the Knot? Ireland, the UK and the EU, Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Dublin, February 2013 

Ireland must stay close to both the UK and Europe. This is the crux of the challenge facing Ireland as the UK attempts to renegotiate its position in the European Union. The relationship between Ireland and the UK has never been better, but David Cameron’s January 2013 speech on Europe heralds a long period of uncertainty for Ireland and the EU. The uncertainty surrounding the UK’s place in Europe is further intensified by the Scottish vote on independence in 2014, which could see an independent Scotland applying to join the EU, and the rest of the UK on its way to the exit. Given that it stands to be one of the biggest losers from a UK withdrawal, it is crucial that Ireland adopts a far-sighted and well-balanced strategy for dealing with the possible implications.

This paper outlines Ireland’s relationship with the UK and the EU in the context of the UK’s changing attitude to Europe. It presents a range of options and assesses how best Ireland can fashion its long-term strategic interests under a number of scenarios. It is based on the deliberations of the IIEA UK Group, a working group which has been active since the foundation of the IIEA in 1991. The process that has given rise to the current paper began in March 2012. Since then, members of the Group have met with a number of British and European politicians, journalists, officials and academics, both in London and in Dublin.

Launch of the IIEA Environment Nexus website

On 15 January 2013, the IIEA launched a new website, The Environment Nexus: your digital ecosystem, at

Understanding the interconnections between water, energy and food is the essence of nexus thinking – a vital tool for policy-makers. The IIEA Environment Nexus is an online hub for EU environment policy. Under three themes – water; agriculture and food security; and energy and climate – the IIEA and expert contributors analyse the most important environmental issues facing the EU.

Nexus content includes videos, infographics, analytical policy reports, FAQs and blogs. New content will be continuously added over the coming months. Already, the site features: